“On a bustling street in China’s southern boomtown of Shenzhen, more than 30 stores carrying Apple Inc’s iconic white logos peddle pre-orders for the new iPhone, a gadget that has become a status symbol among many better-off Chinese,” Yimou Lee reports for Reuters. “Many of the stores look just like Apple’s signature outlets, right down to the sales staff kitted out in blue T-shirts bearing the company’s white logo and the sample iPads and iWatches displayed on sleek wooden tables. But the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor only has one official store in Shenzhen and five authorized dealers in the area. Most of the stores in the roughly 1 km shopping corridor are unauthorized ‘fakes’ – although they are selling genuine Apple products – and their numbers have mushroomed ahead of the release on Friday of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6s Plus.”
“The rapid increase in copycat Apple stores underscores the popularity of the brand in China, where it doubled its revenue in the third quarter from a year earlier to more than $13 billion, and suggests the U.S. tech giant is on course to shrug off weakening consumer spending in its second biggest market,” Lee reports. “Several workers at the stores said they were buying iPhone models in China and in overseas markets such as the United States and Hong Kong, from where they would be smuggled across the border into the mainland.”
“The fake Apple store model is proving so lucrative it has even spawned a cottage industry servicing such businesses,” Lee reports. “Just a stone’s throw from the street of copycat stores, tucked away in a giant tech mall, two shops offer the logos, uniforms, display shelves and shopping bags needed to make an unauthorized outlet feel like a genuine Apple store.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This has been going on for years in China – and, less successfully, in the U.S., too.
What Steve Jobs can learn from China’s fake Apple stores – July 27, 2011
Chinese authorities order two fake Apple Retail Stores to close – July 25, 2011
Customers angry, staff defiant at China’s fake Apple Store – July 22, 2011
Multiple fake ‘Apple Stores’ in China even fake out employees – July 20, 2011
Microsoft retail fiasco to remodel? Apple files trademark for distinctive retail store layout – May 19, 2010